Brady praised Manning's career and described the situation as "unfortunate" during an interview with Jim Gray for Westwood One Sports radio that will air Thursday before the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game.
"I mean, I have nothing but the most respect for him and everything he's achieved and accomplished in his career," Brady said. "Obviously, being on the other side of two of those Super Bowl losses to an Eli Manning-led team, I just have so much respect for his dependability, for his consistency, for his toughness. You know that's really everything you want in an NFL player, and I think Eli has always provided that for the team. So I think it's a pretty unfortunate situation."
The Giants announced Manning's benching Tuesday. Coach Ben McAdoo said the "emotional" decision was made to do "what's best for the organization moving forward." The decision for the Giants to give Geno Smith and rookie third-string QB Davis Webb playing time came after Giants co-owner John Mara discussed the idea with general manager Jerry Reese.
The Giants' decision to bench a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback who has started 210 consecutive games for the franchise shocked many. Brady offered his take on the challenges elite athletes face after they begin to grow apart from the teams they've almost become synonymous with during their careers.
"I think there's always these types of situations," Brady said. "And, you know, I think as a fan growing up, I mean to see Joe Montana playing in another uniform and again to see Jerry Rice or Ronnie Lott, you know guys that I really looked up to and admired, there's not many happy endings in sports and you know that's just the way it is.
"You always wish for everything to go, you know, like a fairytale but it doesn't. Michael Jordan played for, you know, the Washington Wizards. I mean who would have ever believed that? And that's just pro sports."
It appears Brady might not see a "fairytale" ending for Manning in New York. Whether Manning will continue to play in New York or look to play elsewhere remains to be seen.